Police Catch Library Vandals - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Police Catch Library Vandals

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RICHLAND, Wash. - Police catch the vandals who trashed the Richland Public Library.  

Some people were really upset when they found out the library had been vandalized. Five teenage boys allegedly broke in and trashed the place. When concerned citizens found out who they were, they immediately went to police.

Walking into the Richland Public Library you'd never know three days ago it looked like a huge mess. It took volunteers and library staff two days to clean everything up. Wednesday police arrested the culprits. And librarians were pleased to hear it.

"Woohoo. I'm delighted. I couldn't be happier," said Richland Library Manager Anne Roseberry. 

Richland Police said the boys destroyed nearly $5,000 of library property. The crime mirrored a similar break in at Richland High School the day before. Officers said parents who overheard gossip from students quickly called police.

"It's a good example of good old fashioned cooperation between parents in the know and the police department," said Capt. Mike Cobb, Richland Police Department.   

Cobb said officers are used to Richland residents working with police, but he said he was surprised how fast they came forward this time. Cobb said vandalizing the high school and the library spurred something in people.

"Those buildings belong to all of us. The library belongs to all of us, as do our school buildings, and I think a lot of people took it personal," Cobb said.   

Citizens came in with flowers, balloons and notes to say they are there to help. Librarians said they were touched.

"This library has always had a good support from its community, love from its community and you know that, but when something like this happens and you can see it and feel it, there's nothing better," said Roseberry.    

Police said the boys will face burglary charges. But because all of them are minors, it's difficult to know the consequences each of them will face.